Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Croatia: Past, Present and Future Perspectives

“Croatia is a small country with a great cultural heritage and a turbulent past. For centuries, Croatians defended Europe from Ottoman aggression from the east while keeping an eye on the cunning Venetians to the west. Today Croatia is a first-class tourist destination. The coast is the most stunning part of Croatia, with over 1,000 islands, crystal-clear seas and beautiful beaches, and its unique medieval cities built of stone – Dubrovnik as the most famous among them. This book presents equally stunning history of Croatia, as well as the future prospects for the country as an independent state and a member of the European Union.” – Dr. Žarko Domljan, the first President of the democratically elected Croatian Parliament (1990)

“Those who know nothing or little about Croatia will learn the truth about it from this book while those who think that they know enough will be surprised to discover a wealth of important facts about the past and the future of this beautiful country.” – Vinko Sabljo, President, Croatian World Congress

“For those seeking an historically accurate and multifaceted view of Croatia, Croatia, Past Present and Future, edited by Matko Marusic, is a rewarding source. Articles by prominent scholars and historians correct past distortions of the history of Croatia. Includes an interesting perspective on the future of Croatia, and an illuminating article on the Croatian language . Highly readable, authoritative, objective.” – Marvin S. Zuckerman, Dean of Academic Affairs; Chair, Department of English, Los Angeles Valley College

“Recognizing the fact that there are very few comprehensive texts by Croatian authors about Croatia published in the English language, the authors of this newly-released book sought to present a text which would appeal to the population of English-speaking people who are interested in learning about Croatia’s historical evolution. This book is especially important to Americans and anyone who knows English, to finally pave the way for the truth about us and our Home.” READ MORE… – Professor, Dr.sc. Mihovil Biočić, CFU Lodge 2006, Split, Coratia, Zajednicar, Croatian Fraternal Union of America, April 2021, Volume 116/No. 9

“The book, Croatia: Past, Present and Future Perspectives, is a grateful starting point for studying Croatian history, reflecting on its present and vision of its future. This interesting, readable and useful work represents a step towards the approach and promotion of Croatian history, language, culture, heritage and identity in the world.” (For the complete review in Croatian, please click here) – Dr. Marija Benić Penava, Associate Professor, University of Dubrovnik, Department of Economics and Business, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness

This elegant treatise examines the nature of kindness through the fascinating lenses and contexts of ancient, medieval and contemporary philosophy, natural history, theories of mind, of natural selection, eco-psychology and sociobiology. It challenges the reader to consider the myriad potential consequences of human behavior, examining various iconographic moments from the history of art and science as a precursor to the concept and vital potentials for ecological conversion.” READ MORE>>> – Michael Pastore, Editorial Director, BookLovers Review, August 2021

“Ecological Reciprocity is a profound reminder of the fragile life support systems we receive from every ecosystem in this anthropogenic epoch of the planet. In their lifetime epic journey of ecological protection of nature, the Authors wonderfully portray their unparalleled creative conscience and emotional intelligence.” – Ugyen Tshewang, PhD, Bhutan’s Ministry of Agriculture, former Governor of Trashiyangtse and Secretary of the National Environment Commission

“Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison are well known around the world as outstanding scientists, researchers and educators in the field of ecology and environmental protection. They are not only theorists and authors of many books, articles and films on ecology, but also the founders of the Dancing Star International Ecological Foundation, whose main goal is to preserve biological diversity and develop ecological education around the world. The next new book by M. Tobias and J. Morrison, Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness, is precisely aimed at solving just such problems. It is a logical continuation of the enormous research and educational activity to which the authors of the book have devoted their entire life. It is quite obvious that most people live, as a rule, “for today” and think, as a rule, “for short distances.” And only a small percentage of the world’s population is able to think in global categories. But even fewer are those who correlate their interests with the general tasks of social development. It is not surprising, therefore, that practically all over the world people have a poor idea of the real state of affairs with their environment, and, as a result, do not pay due attention to it. As a result, it is difficult to convey the humanistic ideas of ecological and nature protection content to the wide public consciousness. However, this must be done by all available means. At the same time, among the many publications on ecology, there are not so many books that can capture the attention of a wide audience regardless of countries and continents. The book, Ecological Reciprocity: A Treatise on Kindness, which is written in an interesting and exciting way, is just such a generous gift to all of us, which makes a valuable contribution to the cause of universal environmental education and enlightenment.” – Alexander N. Chumakov, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor of the Faculty of Global Processes of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, First Vice-President of the Russian Philosophical Society, Full member of the Russian Ecological Academy, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Age of Globalization

Effective Use of Creative Writing in the Treatment of Addiction to Chemical Substances

“I love this book which uses writing to honestly explore self-knowledge, to achieve optimal treatment for addictions. The spiritual component of honesty is key to the process of overcoming subconscious, involuntary, and defensive responses to addictive momentary euphoric experiences. We need to look beyond the (often genetically predisposed) self-deluding brain conditions. Statistically, 10-20% of our population is unknowingly predisposed to chronic, progressive, and eventually fatal addictions. The steepening of the slope of this progression varies, but on crossing the invisible line, symptoms become obsessive-compulsive, the brain deluding itself in its desperation for the substance. Addictions became treatable, as the pioneers developed the effective structure of AA and, later, the Minnesota Model. Carl Jung (1931), through his patient, Rowland H., first realized that psychiatry by itself, cannot help a person stop the perpetual relapses: ‘Align yourself with some spiritual movement! The structured choice of spiritual principles is the only way to heal these behaviors.’ Rowland H. and Bill W., later the founder of AA (1935), inspired the organization’s 12 Steps suggestions. Amazed, Jung received a letter from Bill (1961) thanking him for that advice. Jung responded: ‘Spiritus [alcohol]contra spiritum [genuine spirituality].’ As the brain of an addict causes loss of touch with truth, often due to shame in the conscious or subconscious, treatment needs to be at the earliest opportunity and be objective about the deluding condition. When an addict becomes ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired’ of themselves and the consequences of their behavior, the choice is to surrender or die in self-delusion. Through group validation, self-revelatory writing becomes an effective tool towards truth in treatment.” – Monica Getz, Founder of SCAA (Swedish Council on Alcoholism) and The Coalition for Family Justice, Irvington, NY

Creating a Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators

“After the anthology published in 2017 that introduced us to the world of Asian collections and archives, a new work has now been published. “Creating a Global Cultural City” contains interviews with some of Hong Kong’s most important cultural figures. And like the previous volume, this one is well worth reading, as the authors have once again managed to extract refreshing, stimulating and thought-provoking insights from the interviewees.” – Dr. Harald Peter Kraemer, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“Rarely would a monograph offer such a panoramic view of Hong Kong’s art landscape as this one does. As readers open the chapters and read the “Creating a Global Cultural City”, they are rewarded with rich information about what representative cultural institutions in the city are doing, but the visions and characters of those cultural leaders, entrepreneurs, curators, directors, and administrators who are running the organisations. Writing in the style of a conversational narrative, Dr. Patrick Lo and his writing team have successfully made the city’s cultural map accessible reading.” – Dr. Patrick MOK Kin-Wai, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Design, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“Interviews with these leading arts and cultural administrators offer useful insights and valuable sharings that mark an important oral history of the Hong Kong arts scene in their times. “Creating a Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators” is a must- read primer for anyone who is already, who aspires to be, or who wants to know more about the manager in a theatre, museum, dance company, or orchestra….You will gain useful insights and learn from the best.” – Heidi Lee Executive Director, Hong Kong Ballet, Hong Kong

“Hong Kong is a city full of diverse cultures, and its arts and cultural development have always been like an undiscovered treasure. This new book “Creating a Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators” brought by Dr. Patrick Lo and his writing team is bound to provide an in-depth look at them, bringing a comprehensive and enlightening reading experience for all art lovers.” – HO Ho-Tak Fashion Archivist, HKDI Knowledge Centres Hong Kong Design Institute, Hong Kong

“You know what university professors do when they have a question about their research? They ask librarians and archivists! This book is a compendium of what some super cool librarians have to say about the arts and cultural scene of Hong Kong.” – Professor Lian-Hee Wee, Department of English Language and Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

“Putting the final nail in the coffin surrounding the debate as to whether Hong Kong is a “cultural desert” or not, this collection concludes that debate through an extensive and thoroughly engaging selection of interviews, essays and other enlightenments. These readings not only highlight the diversity and extent of art and culture in Hong Kong but also bring to light the unique characters who provide the vision and leadership that has brought Hong Kong art and culture to its zenith today.” – Peter E. Sidorko, University Librarian, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“A rare look into the vital public engagement work of Hong Kong’s arts and cultural administrators, and an invaluable collection of texts for anyone considering a career in arts administration or leadership.” – Professor Ian Alden Russell Director, MA Programme in Cultural Management Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“Cultural life in Hong Kong is enjoying a renaissance both in terms of the scope of its offerings as well as in the booming of community interest in the arts. This excellent volume of “Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators” provides must-read insights into this remarkable transformation from eminent cultural professionals who are pro-actively contributing to its momentum and success.” – Jeffrey Shaw Chair Professor of Media Art School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“Dr. Patrick Lo’s book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding the thriving arts and culture landscape of Hong Kong. Through insightful interviews with a wide range of leading figures, this book builds a unique picture through the shared experiences of the key players in the arts and culture sector.” – Professor Louis Nixon, Director, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

“A deftly curated range of interviews brilliantly surveying the well-oiled mechanisms at work within the realms of creative arts and culture in Hong Kong, and simultaneously conveying the pioneering passions, creativity and community spirit of those administrators at its beating heart. A valuable reference for those aspiring to, or travelling towards a career within the sector, and refreshingly relevant for anyone anywhere, already immersed within it.” – Professor Laurence Wood MA (RCA) Associate Head of Department (Visual Arts) Department of Cultural and Creative Arts, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“For anyone interested in the rich history and current realities of the arts and cultural infrastructure in Hong Kong, Dr. Patrick Lo provides a long-awaited resource. Drawing together interviews with key cultural practitioners, the book builds a detailed picture of the arts and cultural landscape in Hong Kong, its unique character, its challenges and its very particular opportunities. Giving overdue attention to Hong Kong’s vibrant arts ecosystem, this book is a ‘must-read’ for arts managers and students alike.” – Professor Suzanne MacLeod, University of Leicester, UK

“What an exciting snapshot of some of the key individuals and institutions comprising Hong Kong’s vibrant cultural sector! A valuable entry point for anyone seeking to understand the city’s cultural ecology.” – Alison M. Friedman, Former Artistic Director, Performing Arts, West Kowloon Cultural District

“How exciting to see the publication of Creating a Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators! The multi-faceted arts and culture in Hong Kong is a truly unique phenomenon, not seen elsewhere in the world. This book gives us a rare opportunity to peek inside the development of this great wonder.” – Bright Sheng, The Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor of Music, School of Music, Theater and Dance, University of Michigan, Helmut and Anna Pao Sohmen Professor-at-Large, Institute for the Advanced Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

“This book provides the most up-to-date, first-hand accounts of the best practices carried out by generations of art and cultural administrators in Hong Kong. A must-read publication for those who are interested in pursuing a career in this field.” – Dr. Desmond Wong, Acting Executive Director, The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage (CACHe)

“Hong Kong has long aspired to become a world leading creative and media city. Curiously, we have not heard the true voice of policymakers and major practitioners of the creative sectors on how the city has recently transformed itself into a thriving hub of arts and culture in East Asia. Creating a Global Cultural City via Public Participation in the Arts: Conversations with Hong Kong’s Leading Arts and Cultural Administrators has filled that void. A must read for anyone who wants to have a deeper knowledge of Hong Kong’s creative and cultural industries.” – Professor Emilie Yueh Yu Yeh, Lam Wong Yiu Wah Chair Professor of Visual Studies, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Director of Centre for Film and Creative Industries, Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Forced Migrations and Refugees in the Mediterranean Basin and the MENA Region

The book presents itself as an original and elegant response to the greatest “moral dilemma” characterizing the current century. This dilemma concerns the erosion of the living conditions of the human being, who – for several reasons – is forced to seek new life possibilities. The work presents a critical analysis of the legal, political and moral status of a “refugee” and also provides a solid epistemological context that sheds light on the increasingly heated conflict between ideologies, rights and interests. The style of the topic and the methodological approach confer an extraordinary ethical slant, where the moral dilemma mentioned above acquires different interpretative nuances.”
Marco Ettore Grasso, PhD

“The book addresses forced migration from multiple, contemporary perspectives, bringing new food for thought for all those involved with or interest in refugee and migration law, as well as human rights more generally.”
Irini Papanicolopulu, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

“A brilliant work that addresses the issue of migrants and their fundamental rights through the lens of past colonization and current imperialism, in a context aggravated by a world pandemic.”
Professor Alessandra Cordiano, Associata di Diritto privato, Università degli studi di Verona Italia, Italy

Arts Therapy in a Changing World: Creative Interdisciplinary Concepts and Methods for Group and Individual Development

“This is a pioneering book which enables us to safely cross several borders. Berger brings together a strong body of knowledge in the field of performance in dramatherapy and integrates nature therapy with a series of working models. It is important that we can take the bigger view of arts therapies through his lens, and not scramble around in a microscopic corner of protective territory. I warmly recommend this book for all therapists and educationalists.”
Professor Sue Jennings
Innovator of Neuro-Dramatic-Play, Dramatherapy Pioneer
Senior Research Fellow, University of Birmingham, England

Arts Therapy in a Changing World: Creative Interdisciplinary Concepts and Methods for Group and Individual Development makes a significant contribution to the arts as therapy model and materializes its rich potential. It presents novel and interdisciplinary approaches for group work intertwined with the arts including arts-based work in nature, arts-based supervision, performance-based therapy and virtual art based therapy.”
Professor Alexander Kopytin
Psychology Department
St. Petersburg Academy of Post-Graduate Pedagogical Education, Chair, Russian Art Therapy Association, Russia

See No Evil: Secularity versus Sacred Scriptures

“The topic of the book is of great importance, yet there is no comprehensive book of this nature now available for use in classrooms or for the general reader. The influence of secularization has grown dramatically and there are now many criticisms of religion from a secular perspective but there are very few, if any, responses from a responsible religious perspective. Yet there are billions of people who are adherents of the major religious traditions in our world. Professor Leightner’s book fills this gap very well. Even people fully committed to the practice of secular thinking and analysis will benefit greatly from Professor Leightner’s insights into the deepest meaning of their own traditions of thought. Professor Leightner’s book will be a major contribution to modern insight.”
Daniel Quinn Mills
Professor Emeritus, Harvard University School of Business Administration, USA

“Leightner argues that secular culture has mislead economists and society more broadly into conflating counterfeit values (evil) with the wisdom found in Jewish, Islamic, Christian, Hindu and Theravada sacred texts, causing severe personal and social harm. Those like Pol Pot (responsible for the Khmer Rouge’s crimes against humanity) persuade themselves and many others that their actions are virtuously motivated, when they are intrinsically evil. People need to step back and appreciate that evil may be contaminating their ethics. This is a message that many professionals do not want to hear, but needs a fair hearing.”
Steven Rosefielde
Professor of Economics at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Genocide and Geopolitics of the Rohingya Crisis

“In his book, Genocide and Geopolitics of the Rohingya Crisis, the scholar General Aminul Karim uncovers the broader canvas of the topic, painstakingly consulting the plethora of existing literature, interviewing various experts, and offering his own analysis and conclusions. General Karim begins with a background of the Rohingyas in Arakan and of modern Burma including its various insurgencies. He then moves on to the strategic importance of the area. Being resource rich, the oil and gas fields are controlled by an enterprise, in which the senior military officers who run the country have economic interests. Major world powers and big corporations have their eyes on these resources. Added to this is the location along the Bay of Bengal, which is vital for Chinese access to the Indian Ocean. Removing Rohingyas strengthens the control of these forces on the area and consequently, upon the resources. Examining the legal issues in subsequent chapters, the author concludes that the Myanmar regime is certainly guilty of committing genocide, but because Myanmar is not a member of ICC and because implementation of the ICJ decision depends largely on the UNSC, punishment of the perpetrators cannot be guaranteed. Chapters 11 and 12 enter into the main theme of the book—geopolitics, and the possibility of a local Muslim insurgency…In his concluding chapters, through interviews, the author suggests some solutions. Sadiqul Islam of Laurentian University, Canada, considers the expulsion of the Rohingyas into Bangladesh an act of war. Professor Delwar Hossain of Dhaka University thinks even a limited war on this issue is quite unlikely. This reviewer has looked into history, and seen that no such problem involving a crime of genocide has been resolved peacefully. The issue is likely to be prolonged and in such a case, the growth of an insurgency and recruitment of young zealots by international terror groups is a distinct possibility. To resolve the problem, General Karim suggests that great powers like China, Russia, the US, and the UN and other international organizations work together to ensure citizenship for Rohingyas and their repatriation, and federalism and autonomy in Myanmar. Alas, the Myanmar state looks unlikely to proceed this way; nor are the great powers showing any such inclination. The author agrees that this sounds like tall-talks, but he would still like to be optimistic. Unfortunately, going by the proceedings so far, there seems little space for such optimism. All said and done, this book is unique in as much as it has the intellectual dimension of an academic. It also reflects the strategic perspective of a professional who has had a decades-old career in military and security matters. A remarkable work, this book would be useful both for researchers as well as policymakers who can devise strategies to handle the issue in the years to come…READ MORE
Reviewed by Md Touhid Hossain, Former Foreign Secretary, published in The Daily Star (December 24, 2020)

The Homo within the Sapiens

The Homo within the Sapiens is a very unique book written by Jorge A. Colombo, MD, PhD. The scope of the book is fascinating because in just 107 pages, Dr. Colombo covers the development and evolution of mankind from its early start until the present digital era. The book is very well documented and includes many bibliographic citations. I definitely recommend reading this book.”
Enrique De Argaez, P.E., MBA
Editor of www.internetworldstats.com
Editor, Miniwatts Marketing Group, Internet Marketing Research

“This is another fascinating book by Jorge Colombo, who is one of a rare breed of neuroscientists that takes an interest in the brain not only from a purely biological perspective, but also approaching the origins of human nature from different angles such as the humanities and social sciences. Without a doubt, this is an intriguing combination since it makes us reflect philosophically and scientifically on who we are, where we are going, how we have created this world with its many inequalities, what challenges await us in the future and many other important issues regarding humankind in the context of the present society. I would highly recommend this book.
Javier DeFelipe
Instituto Cajal (CSIC), Madrid
Laboratorio Cajal de Circuitos Corticales
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Paradigms of Freedom

“This is an exciting book. It makes the reader think. The author takes the reader through the modern history of Europe from early modern times to the 20th century in just five chapters. Conventionally, he commences the early modern period with the 16th century and the Age of Reformation. Each subsequent chapter takes the reader through time, century by century: Religion and the Age of Science (17th century); Justice and the Age of Enlightenment (18th century); Romanticism and Aspiration (19th century); Conflict, depression and sorrow (20th century). Chronologically there is an overlap in time with long and short centuries, but few would disagree with the author’s broad summary of each century. It is difficult to place the book within any particular genre. In his preface the author admits: ‘This not a history but a consideration of mankind’s search to be free, and how this striving is embodied in the poetry of liberation.’ This aphorism is not confined to poets. Perhaps that is why Nova has published the work in its World Philosophy series. Yet this is not a conventional philosophy book which at a scholarly level would separately consider each philosopher and ignore art. This is an insightful book worthy of reading and reflection…READ MORE
Ian Rogers
Historian and Theologian, University of London

“Letellier, in the Introduction to his major work “Paradigms of Freedom”, quotes Rousseau, ‘Man was born free, yet everywhere is in chains’. This recognition of human suffering, in all its various forms, is heightened by Christianity, the faith of Europe, which dignified mankind as being born in the image of God and on a lifetime journey to God. This dissonance seared European thought and society, and Letellier, in this monumental work, explores through European artists, philosophers, theologians and politicians, what he describes as the age of renaissance, reformation, revolution and romanticism. The Introduction ends with transcendent images of hope. From Jacob’s Ladder God comes to man to gift peace and unity, in contrast to the futility of a man-made utopia, while from ancient Greece, Pegasus points man to the transcendent vectors of wisdom, fame and poetry. In what is a monumental work, of 400 pages, Letellier produces a history of Europe that integrates historical events in the context of the arts (literature, paintings, poetry, theatre and opera), philosophy, political and religious movements, but crucially Letellier embeds it in the people involved. As the contents page indicates the scope of the work is immense and makes a concise summary almost impossible. However, his authoritative references to Sir Walter Scott, illustrate his comprehensive knowledge because he combines the covenanting history of Presbyterian Scotland, with Scott’s literary and poetic output, but then writes of the major impact Scott had on the world of opera. This is a thoroughly researched, referenced and illustrated work which is an invaluable cornucopia to academics and students, and those seeking knowledge of the arts, philosophy and history. It will be a welcome addition to any library.”
Robert Gibson
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of the West of Scotland

This book provides a comprehensive and integrated approach to European thought—politics, literature, art, opera—as they relate to the concept of freedom. Letellier frames his work around the exposition of Friedrich Schiller and Sir Walter Scott, pivotal players who bridge the Enlightenment and Romanticism, and their exploration of freedom as manifest in their art. Letellier hits his stride in chapter four, beginning with Walter Scott’s poetry and novels, confronting the tensions of nationalism and personal freedom, “a romantic allegiance to a dangerous but attractive past and the more prosaic but rational present.” Virtually all artistic endeavour, somewhere along the line, takes a turn towards tragedy, that reflects the sorrow of the human condition. From the Greek mythos to Enlightenment philosophy, from 20th century absurdism and existentialism, to pessimism at hopelessness of man’s yearning for freedom in the ‘conflict, sorrow and depression’ of the 20th century. In summary, what is freedom but the power to think and to act as an individual? To embark on that most human journey: the quest for personal distinctiveness…READ MORE
John Hartley
Theologian and Travel Writer, Maryvale Institute, Birmingham

“This fascinating selection of essays is published under Nova’s World Philosophy series. Those who know Robert Letellier’s’ huge scope of interest, and his ability to write elegant biographies, scholarly musical treatises from compilations of biblical associations through to a magnificent source book on operetta, and historical enquires, especially with Romantic themes embracing literature, music and the fine arts, will welcome this edition of his personal evaluation of the concept of freedom. The book is no conventional time travel, but an “investigation of the major gestures of freedom” and “certain decisive events” from the 16th through to the 20th century. The works of Friedrich Schiller and Sir Walter Scott feature prominently, but within the first few pages we meet the likes of St Francis, Luther, Bach, Hans Sachs and the legendary Johann Georg Faust. Shortly after several artists appear (Cranach, Dürer, Bosch and Brueghel to name a few), and thinkers such as Voltaire who laid the foundations of contests between state and church and kindled growing conflicts between the latter and the emergent empiricism of science. Letellier’s way of amalgamating times and places is seen for example in the chapter on ‘Religion and the Age of Science’. Galileo and Kepler are imbricated with the works of the composer Paul Hindemith and the playwright Berthold Brecht, with real treats such as Johann Strauss and Grimmelshausen [Grimmel who?]: he wrote one of the most significant novels the 30 years’ war Abenteuerlicher Simplicius Simplicissimus).If you want a synopsis of the political and religious history of the events leading to the English Civil war and its aftermath, or the shaded lights of women at the time, read about Margaret Cavendish Duchess of Newcastle, and Marie-Madeleine Comtesse de Lafayette. The two chapters Justice and the Age of Enlightenment (The 18th Century), and Romanticism and Aspiration (The 19th century) (the era of revolutions) are stunning accounts of those exciting times of conflict between ideals as personalities, places and politics refine every page forming the emerging bulwark of what Letellier refers to, in his last chapter, as The 20th Century: Conflict, Depression and Sorrow. Discussions about freedom so often get closed down to a few moments and places (French Revolution), a few names (music: Beethoven, Literature Byron). But the worldwide and enduring thrust for Romanticism and the longing for freedom from oppression has been global and enduring. Those who today have similar aspirations can always learn from the past, and will savour the deep insights of Letellier’s elegant and thought-provoking narrative. Nova have produced a fine book: a lively cover embraces a text which is well set out and easy to read, embellished with many relevant illustrations which is nice to hold and have nearby. ‘This is not a history but a consideration of mankind’s search to be free…’.”
Professor Michael Trimble
Emeritus Professor in Behavioural Neurology
UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
Faculty of Brain Sciences